After a dire film Christmas on the terrestrial channels, we have a promising start to the New Year, although they are all grouped around a long weekend rather than being spread evenly through the week. However, there are also some interesting documentaries. I have been a huge admirer of Ken Burns over the years, and part one of The Great American Buffalo is on BBC 4, 10 pm on Tuesday. (Following it is a repeat of his The US and the Holocaust.) Then, on Wednesday at 9pm on BBC 4, we have The Cambridgeshire Crucifixion. This follows the forensic examination of a skeleton unearthed in 2017 that promises to reveal much about a little-known part of Roman history.
SHE WORE A YELLOW RIBBON (1949) Saturday 6 January 1.00-2.40pm BBC 2
Another run out for the classic John Ford western; if it isn’t quite John Wayne’s best performance, it is certainly in his Top Five. Winton C. Hoch’s Technicolor cinematography is superb (it won an Oscar) and members gave it 75% in our 1992/93 season. It has a second showing Thursday evening, BBC 4.
PARALLEL MOTHERS (2021) Saturday 6 January 9.00-10.55pm BBC 4 P
Both Pedro Almodóvar and Penelope Cruz are in fine form in their most recent collaboration. Members too liked the parallel storyline and gave it 88% last season.
NOMADLAND (2020) Saturday 6 January 10.00pm-12.10am Channel 4 P
Frances McDormand is such a fine actor that this drama, beautifully constructed, couldn’t really fail – and it didn’t; she was victorious at the Oscars and it also won Best Film and Best Director. The sense of community it engenders is unerringly true and deeply touching.
SOUND OF METAL (2019) Sunday 7 January 10.30pm-12.25am BBC 2 P
Riz Ahmed is a really interesting young actor; here he plays a heavy metal drummer who begins to lose his hearing. Olivia Cooke is also very good as the girlfriend (and band member) who tries to help him come to terms with his condition.
PANIC IN YEAR ZERO! (1962) Monday 8 January 9.05-10.50pm TP (Ch 82)
A while ago, I wrote a piece on films that dealt with a nuclear conflagration. Lo and behold, a key entry finds its way onto Talking Pictures! Ray Milland directs and stars as the ‘ordinary’ father determined to protect his family. I have always been attracted to films that defy the odds and (almost) make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear. It is many years since I sawPanic in Year Zero! and I am looking forward to this rare opportunity to catch it again.
By David Johnson
Chairman of Lyme Regis Film Society
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